Manama, Sept. 28 (BNA): Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa reiterated Bahrain’s firm stances, led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, regarding key regional and international issues.
Addressing the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session in New York, the USA, the minister stressed the necessity of achieving global security and peace and combating terrorism in the region and the world.
Here is the full text of the speech:
Your Excellency, Mr. Tijjani Muhammad Bande,
The President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
I would like to express to you, and to the friendly Federal Republic of Nigeria, my sincere congratulations on your well-deserved election to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, affirming my country’s support to you, and our confidence in your ability to lead the General Assembly towards achieving its desired goals.
I would also like to express my thanks to your predecessor, Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, for her valuable efforts during her presidency of the previous session.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, for his tangible efforts to establish security and peace, and to reach the noble goals of this organization in all fields.
I also hail the many initiatives launched by the Secretary-General, most important of which are: The United Nations Plan of Action for Religious Leaders to Prevent Incitement to Violence that could Lead to Atrocity Crimes, the Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech and the Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites all around the world.
Mr. President, The close and growing partnership continues between the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the support of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with the United Nations and al its specialized bodies and agencies.
This is mirrored in the measures and initiatives taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, including the signing of the Strategic Partnership Framework between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations Agencies, the first of its kind in the region.
The Kingdom has also maintained its status among the elite countries, evident in the United Nations Human Development Report for the year 2018.
The honoring of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa by the World Health Organization last May as an international leader was the first of its kind in the history of the organization. It came to underline the high status of His Royal Highness and to reflect the international recognition of the Bahraini role in the achievement of the goals of the organization.
We would also like to to express our pleasure at the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution 73/329, of the initiative of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, to declare the 5th of April as the International Day of Conscience.
We are proud of the achievements of the Bahraini woman over the decades, the latest of which was the election of Her Excellency Mrs. Fawziya Zainal as the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, becoming the first woman in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain to occupy such high position, following parliamentary elections that had a participation turnout of 67%, coming as a result of the reform approach of His Majesty the King, reflecting a solid democratic experience, a strong popular will, a high community awareness and keenness to perform the national duty.
The great support given to education adds to these achievements, as my country, which celebrated the centenary of formal education a few weeks ago, has become one of the high performing countries in achieving the Millennium Goals, according to the UNESCO (Education for All) reports.
As part of its development endeavors, the Kingdom of Bahrain is keen to promote rights and freedoms. The Kingdom preserved, for the second consecutive year, its advanced status in the field of combatting trafficking in persons, where it was ranked among Tier 1 status in the report of the Department of State of the United States of America, becoming the first country in the MENA region to record this achievement. My country has also won, for the 3rd time in its history, membership in the Human Rights Council for the period from 2019 to 2021.
Today, the main concerns of the international community, and in our discussion here and at this stage, are the “achievement of peace” and “eliminating terrorism.”
We are all now convinced that the incidents that take place in any part of the world will inevitably affect us all. We have seen this following the crises some countries went through, including the Arab Republic of Syria, the Republic of Yemen and the State of Libya.
The unrest these states have gone through led to weakening or destroying state institutions, worsening the problem of migration and refugees, providing an environment for the emergence of different terrorist organizations, whether those backed by states or others, threatening the security of the region and the stability of its people.
This has made collective action a necessary approach for the achievement of peace, through committing to the charter of the United Nations and its principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states, commitment to good-neighborliness, mutual respect, peaceful settlement of disputes, implementation of the United Nations resolutions, preserving the sovereignty of states, their national institutions and their territorial integrity, and safeguarding the dignity and stability of their people.
One of the most important resolutions is related to the Palestinian issue, which should be addressed and dealt with as a political matter, related to occupation, sovereignty, land and rights.
It should not affect the relations between people, nor cause conflict among religions or impede their positive interaction.
The international community, should it desire peace, must shoulder the responsibility and oblige Israel to implement the relative international resolutions, to stop its unjust annexation policies and violations of international law, which hinder all efforts aimed at reaching a just and sustainable solution to the Palestinian issue, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 4th, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the Two-State Solution, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relative international resolutions.
Continuing the untiring efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain to enable the people of the region, particularly from the brotherly State of Palestine, to grow and prosper and achieve a better future in all fields, my country, in partnership with the friendly United States of America, hosted the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop last June, focusing on reinforcing development and providing a better life for the people of the region.
Out of the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain to support security and stability, we reiterate our solidarity with the ongoing efforts of the Kingdom of Morocco to find a political solution to the Moroccan Sahara issue, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and within the framework of the Kingdom's sovereignty and national and territorial integrity. In this regard, we note the efforts exerted by His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations to settle the issue, as well as his determination to establish security and stability in the Syrian Arab Republic, which resulted in the formation of the Constitutional Committee. We hope that this step will contribute to the desired political solution in Syria.
We also assert our support for the brotherly Republic of Sudan, to all the steps and measures taken to achieve development and prosperity and to protect internal security and stability. We welcome the formation of the transitional government, led by the Prime Minister, Dr. Abdullah Hamdok, and we support the calls regarding the removal of Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, in order to enable it to cooperate with international economic institutions, and to overcome this serious and delicate phase of its history.
That was our vision on peace, as for the other challenge that we would like to emphasize on, which is terrorism, this threat and as you all have seen has taken unprecedented forms in the history of our countries and put us in a difficult phase of instability.
This is evident in the terrorist practices of Iran over the decades, as the Iranian regime with its terrorist Revolutionary Guard Corps have an abusive record that is filled with violations of international charters and resolutions, whether it was through the establishment and support of terrorist militias, or through its continuous attempts to cause chaos and sedition, and by interferring in the internal affairs of many countries in the region, including the Kingdom of Bahrain. This is also seen in its unjust occupation of the three islands of the United Arab Emirates, (Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa) and the direct threat resulting from this continued occupation.
In this regard, we affirm our solidarity with our brothers in the Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we will continue our efforts to save Yemen and restore its security and stability. We stress the importance of uniting all Yemeni national parties with their legitimate government, to combat the Iran-backed Houthi militias, and all terrorist groups that threaten peace and security in Yemen, in order to reach a peaceful solution based on the Gulf Initiative and its Executive Mechanism, and the outcomes of the National Dialogue and Security Council resolution 2216 (2015), in a way that ends all forms of Iranian interference, which is the main threat to the unity of Yemen and its territorial integrity.
We would like to recognize the efforts of the Iraqi government in confronting the outlaw and armed factions of the Iranian regime, which have become a serious danger not only to Iraq, but also disrespected the inviolability of diplomatic missions in its territories, affected neighboring countries and made Iraq a starting point for terrorist objectives.
We cannot overlook the dangerous role played by Hezbollah in spreading extremism and terrorism, as well as inciting hatred and implementing the Iranian agenda to perpetuate tensions and crises in the region. We stress the need to deter this terrorist party and its threats from the region.
The adoption of the Iranian regime of transitional terrorism has created networks of terrorist organizations and extremist militias, located in many places and different parts of the world such as Syria, Yemen, North Africa, the countries of the Sahara and the Sahel, South America, and others. This requires us to intensify our efforts and enhance collective cooperation in order to eliminate them and prevent their return in any form.
In this context, we reiterate our appreciation for the decisive course taken by the friendly United States of America in confronting Iran and its affiliates in the region, through exerting maximum pressure and imposing strict sanctions. We stress our support to the continuation of this course to dry up the sources of terrorism and stop the destructive policies of the Iranian regime.
Global energy supplies and maritime navigation in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the region as a whole are severely threatened by the behavior of the Iranian regime and its frequent targeting of commercial vessels in the region.
Thirty-five years ago, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries sought to alert the international community to address this threat. We resorted then to the Security Council, which passed resolution 552 of 1984, on Iranian attacks on commercial vessels in the Arabian Gulf. However, the Iranian terrorism continues today, in a more serious manner. It poses a threat to this region, which is of strategic importance to international peace and security and to the stability of the global economy.
We condemn and denounce once again, the heinous terrorist attack on oil facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which Iran bears responsibility for. The attack posed a serious threat to the global energy supply and the global economic system.
We reaffirm our full and unwavering support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the main pillar of the region's stability, and to all the steps it takes to maintain its security and stability. We call upon the international community, especially the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security, and to take a firm stance against the repeated Iranian criminal practices.
In this context, we welcome the joint statement issued by the United Kingdom, the French Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, which held Iran accountable for this attack, and pointed out the importance of reconsidering the Iranian nuclear deal, which does not meet the requirements of security and peace in the region.
Based on the responsibilities of the Kingdom of Bahrain towards the achievement of stability of the region and the world at large, and as a continuation of its historic role and its commitment to work jointly with its brothers, allies and international partners in the face of regional and international challenges, as well as its keenness to combat terrorism and piracy in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Kingdom of Bahrain participated at this critical time in the International Alliance for Navigation Security and Maritime Safety, in order to secure and protect the most important strategic and vital international corridors of trade and energy.
In July, the Kingdom of Bahrain hosted an important international military meeting to discuss ways of intensifying international cooperation to enhance the security of the region. It is also now preparing to host another international meeting in Manama next month on maritime and aviation security in cooperation with the United States of America and Poland, with the participation of more than 60 countries. This comes as a result of the International Conference in Support of Security and Peace in the Middle East, which was held in Warsaw last February.
The picture has become clear to us that there are priorities that can not be slowed down and delayed, but must be dealt with immediately.
The two main goals that we work for, namely the achievement of peace and the elimination of terrorism, strongly require joint collective action and support of any efforts that aim for peace, as well as dealing strictly with states that seek to sabotage, pursue violence and terrorism, and hinder us from achieving our goals and objectives.
This year, the Kingdom of Bahrain will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the accession of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to the throne, who started a reform approach that will live with the continuation of the comprehensive development and pioneering achievements of the Kingdom at all levels, under the rule of law and institutions and based on a cultural heritage and a community in which all people coexist, based on solid foundations that guarantee rights and freedoms, and seek to promote peace between all people and cultures.
We affirm the continuation of the balanced foreign policy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in cooperation with the countries of the world, based on the approach of collective action and joint defense with responsible countries, respect for the principles upon which the United Nations was founded, and the development of partnerships, aiming to achieve security and prosperity for all and to live in a healthy environment where we all share interests, to allow our nations and people to enjoy sustainable security, development, progress and prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. President.